I hadn’t an inkling of what lay ahead of me when I stepped up to begin the hour of Kettlebell Partner Passing. I had passed 20 minutes the day before with KPP Instructor Mike Visscher, and made an offhand comment: “I think I could pass for an hour.” Next thing I knew, KPP Founder Michael Castrogiovanni and Mike V had decided, to my surprise, that Mike and I, indeed, would attempt to pass a kettlebell for an hour the very next day. We agreed it would only be a practice test.
Before I knew it, I was back at the gym standing across from Mike, my passing partner for the hour. We began to pass the kettlebell, after nervously locking eyes and performing the three count protocol to start the set. The passing felt smooth and we settled into a rhythm. Everything felt good for the first 20 minutes or so, despite some anxiety about how long the test was going to feel and the fact that I was already drenched in sweat.
Minutes 20-40 were very tough, as I didn’t have a clue where we were timewise. My palms were sweaty and my heart rate was climbing, along with the number of negative thoughts in my head. The test was steadily becoming harder. My entire being felt the strain and my focus began to wane. My mind kept jumping ahead to the end of the hour, and I had to pull myself back to the present moment over and over.
When 45 minutes was called, I experienced a jolt of fear. I felt like I couldn’t keep going much longer, and 15 minutes felt like a very long time. Luckily, the competitive athlete inside me kicked in, telling me that I had already made it three quarters of the way and I was almost there — it was time to dig deep and finish strong.
Time lapse video of Britt's Hour Test
Despite my determined resolve to make it to the finish line, the last 5 minutes were incredibly difficult. I didn’t think I was going to make the full hour in those final few minutes. My entire body was exhausted from the exertion. My passes were getting sloppier. I thought the kettlebell would slip out of my grip at any moment. The skin on my hands was painfully close to tearing. My mind was screaming “STOP”, saying I couldn’t do another minute. I was desperate to hear the announcement that I could put the kettlebell down and rest.
When the time was finally called, it was with immense relief that I set the kettlebell down and gave Mike a high-ten and a hug. I staggered a few steps, then collapsed onto the floor, overwhelmed with exhaustion. I closed my eyes, breathed hard, cried, and let all the emotion of the hour flood through me.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I discovered the test I had just completed fulfilled my qualifications to become a certified Kettlebell Partner Passing Instructor. I was ecstatic, and couldn’t stop jumping up and down (no exaggeration)!
The Hour Test was much more difficult than I had anticipated. The test was on par with the toughest physical challenges I have faced, and psychologically much harder, which is saying a lot! It wasn’t enough for me to keep going just for myself; I had to remind myself that I had a responsibility to my partner, to hold up my end of the bargain and do everything in my power to complete the hour, so we could succeed together. The fact that my individual failure or success reflected on our partnership gave me the strength to transcend the physical and mental discomfort of the test.
Watch the video above to see Britt & Mike complete the Hour Test!
This blog post was written 4 days after my Hour Test, as I wanted to record my experience while it is fresh in my mind. I know that as I further digest the test, many lessons and realizations will come. Thanks for reading, and let us know your thoughts in the comments!